Navarre Beach named top emerging market

Once considered Florida’s best kept secret, Navarre Beach is no longer an unknown.

On the heels of the local’s most successful tourism season on record, Navarre Beach was awarded a spot Nov. 4 on the global list of 30 top emerging travel destinations for 2020 by TravelLemming.com.

TravelLemming.com is an international travel site founded by Nate Hake, an American who has been traveling the world full-time since 2016. The site’s mission is to help highlight emerging and underappreciated destinations as a way to fight overtourism, or the phenomena where a destinations popularity with visitors erodes the visiting experience.

According to Travel Lemming, an emerging destination is “one which an average American traveler would probably not already be considering visiting and which has enough capacity to handle additional tourism without becoming overtouristed.”

In other words, it is a location with room to grow and a reason to be in the spotlight. Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie White said that definition fits Navarre Beach perfectly.

“Everybody knows Orlando. Everybody knows Miami. Everybody knows St. Augustine,” White said. “We are not to that point yet. But we are definitely on the right track. Folks already have name recognition of locations in northwest Florida, and I feel like we can achieve that.”

Navarre Beach was nominated for the award by the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development office. Winners were selected after voting by 30 of the most popular travel bloggers in the industry, who collectively sport more than 12 million followers on social media.

White said it is especially exciting to receive recognition from this group.

“You are talking about that millennial generation that is more prominent in that field than some of our travel writers that are Generation X or Baby Boomers. It is nice, fresh perspective,” she said.

Navarre Beach secured the 25th slot on the list rubbing elbows with a variety of locations across all continents such as Nova Scotia, Colorado Springs, The Cook Islands, Ecuador and La Paz, Mexico.

In describing why Navarre Beach was selected, the Travel Lemming article reads:

“Possibly the best beach destination that you’ve never heard of, Navarre Beach was Florida’s best-kept secret until TripAdvisor named it as one of the best 25 beaches in the United States this year.

“Located just 40 minutes from Pensacola, Navarre Beach is the perfect destination for families looking to enjoy water activities like kite surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and surfing – or just looking to unwind and watch a spectacular sunset on a quiet patch of sand. After all, just because you want to experience perfect white sand beaches doesn’t mean you need to dart through a sea of beach-goers to stake out a tiny of sliver of sand.”

Derek Baron, one of the judges and the travel blogger behind Wandering Earl, also praised the beach’s perks.

“It’s simple – Navarre offers the white sand beaches, gorgeous turquoise waters, and perfect sunsets of some of the worlds more crowded and expensive beach destinations. I’ll take a more laid-back, picture perfect tropical destination, that’s easy to reach, any day,” he wrote.

See the full list at TravelLemming.com/2020-emerging-destination-awards.

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